The New Republic Tells the Truth About Jay Inslee's Climate Change Plans

Conservatives have been saying all along that the various proposals to fight global warming climate change involved huge monetary and social costs, costs which the left somehow think won’t exist, or if they do exist, why somehow, some way, it’ll all work out for the best economically. It’s the kind of optimism that the Soviets professed as they presented their various ‘Five Year Plans.’ Thanks to an article by William Teach, I found this by a supporter of Governor Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) global warming climate change proposals, and she actually tells the truth:


You Will Have to Make Sacrifices to Save the Planet

We can save millions of lives from climate change, but only if we change our own. Democrats should start acknowledging that.

By Emily Atkin | June 3, 2019

When it comes to climate change, Washington Governor Jay Inslee is unlike any other Democrat running for president. He’s based his entire campaign on addressing the crisis, and his climate plan is the most detailed and aggressive of all of his competitors. Inslee is also uniquely willing to admit to hard truths about what victory in this fight will require, even when those truths are political minefields. He’s admitted that it requires eradicating the fossil fuel industry. He’s admitted that it requires eradicating Republicans

“They need to fall, and they have fallen,” he said last month. “Ten Republicans [in the Washington state legislature] lost last fall, in part because of this issue. We elected 10 Democrats. So until they get an epiphany, until the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt rises again, the only answer is to remove Republicans from office. I wish it was otherwise.”

I suppose the cover of the issue of The New Republic, shown above, in which this article was printed tells the story. It’s ideas? Well, The New Republic, the first edition of which was published on November 7, 1914, and which was a weekly center-left opinion journal, now published a whopping ten issues a year. Wikipedia documents its near collapse. A magazine that all of the movers and shakers in Washington used to read is now mostly an e-zine that is largely ignored.


And while I’m sure that Governor Inslee, one of the two dozen or so people running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, appreciates the coverage, he might not really like the fact that the article does tell one uncomfortable truth about the zillions of proposals to fight global warming climate change: implementation of such proposals will make Americans poorer in real terms.

But saving millions of lives and preserving a livable planet will also require something that even Inslee seems too cautious to admit: personal sacrifice from all Americans. In that way, he’s just like every other Democrat in the pack.

Well, one can see why he would be. In very blue state Washington, Mr Inslee proposed Initiative 1631, which would have imposed a ‘carbon tax’ of $15 per metric ton, was rejected by the voters, and rejected by a landslide margin.

First and foremost, that sacrifice includes paying higher taxes. In an interview with NPR on Friday, host Rachel Martin asked him if he would commit to not raising taxes to cover his $9 trillion climate plan. Inslee said no, but only because “nobody running for office can make a statement about the future like that.” He then assured Martin that most of his climate plan would be paid for by private companies. “The government does have a role,” he admitted—but only an “appropriate public investment” would be made.

“Appropriate public investment” makes it sounds like the effect on the taxpayer will be minimal. But what is appropriate to save humanity? As Inslee’s plan rightly shows, it’s the exact opposite of minimal. The entire fossil-fuel economy has to be transformed in a very short amount of time. That’s going to cost trillions, an “appropriate” chunk of which is going to have to come from taxpayers. Whether that money comes from higher federal taxes on Americans, or taxes on private companies that pass down the costs to consumers, it doesn’t really matter. We will feel it, and it will hurt.

There is no avoiding this pain—and we’re not just going to feel it in our pocketbooks, but in our personal lives. Along with transitioning to a renewable-energy economy, any truly meaningful climate plan is also going to drastically reduce industrial meat production, expand public transportation, end our reliance on cars, and change the way cities are planned and built. The way we eat, the way we get places, and the way we live are all going to change. It will be much more than just an annoying inconvenience.


Good heavens! This, in The New Republic? A liberal magazine, doing something really radical like telling the truth?

Well, tell the truth Miss Atkin has, but it’s not a truth that the Democrats, including Mr Inslee, would want you to hear. “(D)rastically reduce(d) industrial meat production” means that either you will have to pay a lot more for meat in your meals, or you won’t be able to have it. Law of supply and demand, you know? What Miss Atkin has said is the literal part of what many have said figuratively: climate change ‘solutions’ will take food off of your table!

“(E)nd our reliance on cars”? The American public not only love their automobiles, but the moves by Ford ($F) and General Motors ($GM) to drop sedan production demonstrate what American consumers want: SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks and trucks. Manufacturers try to provide what their customers want. Yet the Democrats’ various climate change proposals would restrict public choice and go hard against what consumers want.

More than that, it would impact how Americans live. The suburban dream home that so many families with children want, with actual yards in which their children can play outside, would become harder in which to live, because it would be harder to afford being able to get to and from work and school and the grocery store — where there’d be less meat, remember? — and everyplace else.


And for those of us living out in rural areas, like me, well we’d be just plain out of luck.

Miss Atkin tells us, though indirectly: forget all of that fresh air and sunshine, you’ve got to pack yourselves into the cities!

“(C)hange the way cities are planned and built”? Uhhh, our cities are already built; it’s pretty hard — and expensive — to change them now. Remember Boston’s $24 billion ‘Big Dig” fiasco? The project was initially projected to cost $2.4 billion and wound up costing $24.3 billion. Fraud on the part of Aggregate industries, the ready-mix concrete supplier, certainly didn’t help matters.

But, alas! in the end, Miss Atkin told the same lie that the Democratic candidates have been:

Democrats may also fear backlash from the left. In France, left-wing protesters rioted in the streets after the government tried to implement a gas tax to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. But that protest was not because they didn’t want to solve climate change, or because they didn’t understand the need to sacrifice. It was because the French government demanded only sacrifice from the poor and middle class, not the rich. And policies like Inslee’s plan and the Green New Deal demand most of their sacrifices from corporations and the rich—those who are largely responsible the climate crisis, and those who can most afford to help solve it.

That is laughable! Corporations pass their costs on to their customers, and the end consumer of every product pays all of the taxes and all of the costs involved in its production. If they did not, the producer would lose money and quickly go out of business. That’s just basic economics, something about which the left seem barely, if at all, knowledgeable.


As it turned out, the voters in Washington state were not quite as ignorant of economics as Governor Inslee thought they’d be, which is why those mostly liberal voters voted down Initiative 1631. A lot of people are worried about global warming climate change, but somehow, some way, when it comes to a problem that might be eighty years down the road, and which, if real, might or might not be solved by liberal policies today seems a lot less important than paying the bills and putting food on the table today.
More of my articles can be found in my Red State story archive. My personal website, The First Street Journal, includes articles not necessarily in Red State’s paradigm. You can follow me on Twitter.


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